Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 5 May 2019

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

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Come with us as we report through 2019

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

These news reports are updated and added to on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za

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FIRST VIEW 1: TOMBARRA

Tombarra. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Tombarra.         Picture: Trevor Jones

Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s Ro-Ro vehicle carrier TOMBARRA has now called several times in South Africa and will probably continue to be a regular visitor to the country’s car terminals. Here she is seen in the Durban entrance channel and heading for the open seas with the pilot launch alongside waiting to take off the harbour pilot. The 61,321-gt Tombarra (IMO 9319753) was built in 2006 and is managed in-house by the Wilhelmsen company. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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FIRST VIEW 2: CMB ADRIEN

CMB Adrien in Durban, by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

CMB Adrien arriving in Durban and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online. Picture by Keith Betts
CMB Adrien. Pictures: Keith Betts

Two views of another of the many work-horses to be seen on the African coast, the bulk carriers, and in this instance Bocimar’s CMB ADRIEN (IMO 9597991). The 32,663-dwt vessel was built in 2011 and is owned and managed by Bocimar International NV. Her ISM manager is Anglo-Eastern Ship Management of Hong Kong. The above pictures are by Keith Betts

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GOOD START TO THE YEAR FOR PORT OF NACALA

 

Nacala port and railway network inckluding Nacal-a-Velha (coal terminal), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Nacala port and railway network inckluding Nacala-a-Velha (coal terminal)

While it would appear that the port of Nacala in northern Mozambique has escaped the ravages of Cyclone Kenneth because it being sufficiently far south of the devastating cyclone, news has been received that the port has experienced an excellent first quarter.

During the first three months of 2019 the amount of cargo handled at Nacala went up to 510,000 tonnes, compared with a figure of 346,000 tonnes for the same three months in 2018.

This even exceeded the expected throughput which, according to a press release, was for 452,000 tonnes in the first quarter.

A further indication of this improvement in 2019 so far comes from the number of ships handled at the port – 73 for January-March 2019 as compared with 56 for the same period in 2018, an increase of over 30%.

What also contributed was that the majority of these ships were laden with cargo being discharged in the port whereas in previous years a significant number of the ships that used the port facilities did not carry any cargo for Nacala.

Containers

The small but growing Nacala container terminal has handled 18,754 TEU in the first quarter of 2019 compared with 15,131 TEU in 2018, an increase of 24%.

In the media release issued port director Mário Moura comments: “We are investing in equipment and skilled labour to meet the demand, in order to make the port even more sustainable and competitive.”

In March this year the Northern Development Corridor (CDN), which operates the port of Nacala, took delivery of a mobile crane to provide the port with improved capability of handling goods and improving customer service.

Nacala's mobile crane which arrived in March this year, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Nacala’s mobile crane which arrived in March this year

Mobile crane

The mobile crane has a reported maximum lift capacity of 125 tonnes which CDN says will speed up loading and unloading cargo and double the port’s capacity of handling containers.

In December 2018 the port took delivery of a new pilot boat able to transfer marine pilots to and from ships entering and leaving the port.

The port of Nacala is served by a railway that connects not only the northern provinces of Mozambique to the port but also neighbouring Malawi and Zambia as well as Tete province in central Mozambique.

Nacala's new pilot boat, delivered December 2018 and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Nacala’s new pilot boat

 

Annual cargo and container figures

According to CDN the port of Nacala handled a total of 80,217 TEU during 2018, which represented a 13% increase on the 70,931 TEU handled in 2017.

Total cargo handled by the port in 2018 amounted to 1,854,751 tonnes. This was a 17.3% improvement on the 1,666,663 tonnes handled in 2017.

These figures do not include the bulk cargo consisting mainly if not exclusively of coal handled at the adjacent Nacala-a-Velha port which is also in the Nacala Bay complex. sources: CDN, O País, AIM

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ECOWAS REGIONAL TRANSPORT INTEGRATION PROJECT GETS UNDERWAY

Member states of ECOWAS as featured in aarticle in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Member states of ECOWAS

Feasibility studies on the Abidjan-Lagos Expressway Project has commenced and the West African Growth Ring Master plan (WAGRM) has been completed.

The WAGRM has economic potential that could enhance the collective growth of Ghana, Togo, La Cote D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

According to the minister for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta, the projects are an indication that the integration agenda of ECOWAS is on a very good course.

He was speaking at a two-day regional consultation meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) held…[restrict] last week in Accra.

Kwesi Amoako Atta, Ghana's minister of Roas & Highways, featured in a report carried in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Kwesi Amoako Atta

The meeting was to identify priority regional investment projects and programmes in the fields of transport and energy for West Africa which is being financed under the European External Investment Plan (EIP).

All the 17 member states of ECOWAS and some regional development partners participated in the event.

The minister praised the facilitation of the construction of the joint border post for Ghana and Togo, which was recently commissioned.

Overloading policy being ignored
However, he raised concerns over member states failure to comply with the axle load policy which seeks to reduce overloading in the sub-region and also enhance the durability of roads.

He said that Ghana is complying with the policy while other countries are not, thereby denying Ghana much-needed revenues at the ports.

In 2015, the European Union and West Africa signed a major financing agreement of €1,150 million for various sectors, including transport and energy.

This convention marked a turning point, a new era of European Union and West Africa cooperation, in the infrastructure sector, with investments in the form of mixed financing or “blending” and support for the transport and energy governing bodies.

€330 million invested so far
According to a press release by ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions, an initial total amount of €168 million has been invested in energy and 162 million euros in transport so far.

“An allocation of €70 million has also been made to the governing bodies of which €32 million is for energy and €38 million for transport,” the statement noted.

The joint statement read: “…these investments have already financed seven energy projects and 10 transport projects in West Africa and the Region wants to plan towards the development of a new European External Investment Plan.

“The statement added: “This meeting was initiated, to this end, in response to one of the recommendations of the last Strategic Orientation Committee (COS), held in Brussels in June 2018, that a regional meeting should be held to define investment priorities in the two key sectors of transport and energy, which are essential pillars for the development and the integration of our region as advocated by the regional organisations, ECOWAS AND WAEMU.”[/restrict]

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CANADIAN NAVY SHIP MAKES ANOTHER TWO DRUG BUSTS IN ARABIAN SEA

HMCS Regina and crew show off the first of two recent drug busts made in the north-western Indian Ocean. Pictures: CTF 150, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMCS Regina and crew show off the first of two recent drug busts made in the north-western Indian Ocean.      Pictures: CTF 150

A large amount of the narcotics seized by naval and other security forces and units operating in the Arabian Sea, Southern Red Sea and Western Indian Ocean are destined for Africa, either to help fund the various terror groups that remain active in several parts of the continent, or for smuggling into different countries of Africa including South Africa and from there to Europe and the United States.

Much of the smuggling involves stateless merchant dhows that operate freely throughout the region while moving a significant amount of legal and sometimes illegal trade between regions.

The Combined Task Force (CTF 150) is the multinational maritime force whose mission is to maintain maritime security and prevent…[restrict] illegal activity generally across this region – an area of 2.3 million square kilometres.

CTF 150 works with its coalition partners to help prevent illegal narcotics. Patrols to detect and intercept these narcotics and the smuggling of weapons are routinely carried out by ships of the CMF which operate under a rotating command – the current command of the CMF’s Combined Task Force 150 for example is led by the Pakistan Navy which includes under its command Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) REGINA, of which Africa PORTS & SHIPS has previously reported.

One of the intercepted trading dhows, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
One of the intercepted trading dhows

In the latest report received from the CMF/CTF 150, HMCS Regina, in a matter of just four days, has conducted her second and third illegal narcotic hauls, seizing and destroying just over 4,500kgs of hashish and 10kgs of heroin.

The details are as follows: On 14 and 18 April, HMCS Regina spotted two suspicious dhows off the coast of Oman in an area known as the ‘Hash Highway.’ The ship deployed its Naval Tactical Operations Group (NTOG) team – working as the boarding team for the ship, and seized hauls of illegal hashish and heroin, which were transferred to HMCS Regina and subsequently destroyed.

“Our priority when boarding these ships is the safety and welfare of the fishermen we encounter, drugs being there or not,” said Lt (N) Jacob Killawee, Officer in Charge. “In order to effectively deter and disrupt the flow of narcotics that is funding terrorism, it’s just as important for us to build trust with the people who are being exploited by those same actors who wish to do us harm.

“We are trained and prepared for a worst case scenario, but treating the crew with dignity and respect makes our job easier and safer for everyone involved,” Killawee said. “Our success validates the hard work we’ve done in preparation for this deployment, ensuring that we were in the right place, with the right training and equipment to achieve this result.”

Commander Jacob French, Commanding Officer HMCS Regina said he was extremely proud of the hard work of his ship’s company. “We remain ready to continue our mission and support CTF 150 and the Combined Maritime Forces.”

Commodore Alveer Ahmed Noor Si, Commander CTF150 added his comments. “The Pakistan Navy command team is determined to maintain good order at sea through adept deployment of CTF150 Units,” he said. “Effective Command and Control and close coordination with deployed assets has resulted in the successful seizure of a sizable amount of narcotics.

“Maritime Domain Awareness and Maritime Security Cooperation between relevant stakeholders is a necessity to overcome various maritime challenges and protect global commerce.”[/restrict]

HMCS Regina's sea boat in action, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

 

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NIGERIAN SHIPPERS COUNCIL MOVES ON UNDER-DECLARATION OF IMPORTED GOODS

Nigerian Shippers Council banner, flying in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) says it intends tackling the question of under-declaration of imported goods that the NSC says is coming into Nigeria by means of introducing a security application called Cargo Tracking Note.

NSC Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello said this week in Abuja that the Cargo Tracking Note application had…[restrict] been included in the 2019 budget.

Mr Hassan Bello of the Nigerian Shippers Council, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Mr Hassan Bello

“The most important thing in the 2019 budget is the Cargo Tracking Note. It is what will allow Nigeria to know what comes in,” he is quoted by the Guardian (Nigeria).

“It is a security app that will be a manifest that whatever comes into Nigeria is transmitted electronically even at the point of loading,” he said.

However, he said that the NSC would continue to strengthen its relationship with security agencies at the ports, especially the police. source: The Guardian[/restrict]

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NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY TO OPEN TWO TRUCK STAGING PARKS IN LAGOS

Gridlock, Lagos style, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Gridlock, Lagos style

The Nigerian Ports Authority has announced that two transit staging truck stops will soon be commissioned in Lagos in order to help alleviate truck congestion outside the ports.

One of the truck stops will be at Tin Can Island Second Gate and the other at Lillypond.

Lagos has been plagued with truck congestion for a number of years, with the build-up of road congestion steadily becoming worse until some port access roads have become completely gridlocked.

According to the statement Dr Davies Sekonte, NPA Executive Director, Marine and Operations, has said the…[restrict] truck staging parks will improve service delivery with preference being given to truckers with empties and those with exports.

A call-up system will be instituted and shipping lines and terminal operators will have to synergise their operations to ensure the success of the call up system.

Law enforcement agencies are to be instructed to remove all category of trucks milling round the port environment and to ensure that the Tincan Island – Mile 2 corridor axis remains open for traffic, Sekonte said.

He added that the various sectional heads from the NPA involved in the exercise had all resolved that enforcement would be total. The NPA, being the ports landlord, would not fold its arms and allow for total breakdown of the system, Sekonte said.

“We are taking the bull by the horn and proffer permanent solutions to the menace in view of the role the sector plays in the life of the nation’s economy,” he said.

Among the new rules and with immediate effect, trucks will not be allowed to park on the bridges. The staging parks will remain a transit point and the authorities will ensure that broken down trucks will be towed away while incurring a penalty.[/restrict]

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TNPA PORT ELIZABETH MARKS WORLD HEALTH & SAFETY DAY

Port Elizabeth Port Manager, Rajesh Dana (front) and Harbour Master, Captain Brynn Adamson (front row, far right) with employees showcasing their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from marine services, the harbour master’s department, the civil depot, diving, garden services, fire and emergency services as well as port security, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Port Manager, Rajesh Dana (front) and Harbour Master, Captain Brynn Adamson (front row, far right) with employees showcasing their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from marine services, the harbour master’s department, the civil depot, diving, garden services, fire and emergency services as well as port security

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at Port Elizabeth commemorated the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO), World Health and Safety Day at Work.

Although the actual day was celebrated on Sunday, 28 April this year, the Port of PE used the opportunity to reignite staff awareness on the importance of health and safety at work on a week day.

This day helps us as TNPA to involve employees to participate, engage and discuss issues of health and safety at work”,”said PE port manager Rajesh Dana.

“Whilst the aim is to make the day as fun filled and educational as possible, it is also important to ensure that the true message that the day conveys is not forgotten.”

Dana said that as TNPA they are proud, not only to celebrate days like these, but also of the safety culture that the organisation instills in all of them. “TNPA lives the idea that safety is all our responsibility and that it is the way we can ensure ZERO harm to our employees and stakeholders,”he said.

Jefferson Isaacs from the port’s diving section performs a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration in the port of Port Elizabeth, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Jefferson Isaacs from the port’s diving section performs a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstration in the port

Tim Fox, Rail Operations Manager at Fresh Produce Terminal said he was honoured to have been part of this day with TNPA. “As an ex-employee of Transnet myself, I can attest to the strides that the company has made in ensuring that its employees and stakeholders know what is expected of them from a health and safety perspective every single day.

“Of significance is that this centenary celebration of the ILO marks many years of continuous improvement in occupational health and safety. Changes in technology, demography and sustainable development have significantly contributed to the evolution of the organisational work place,” Fox added.

The day started with a vibrant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) fashion show, where employees from marine, fire and emergency services, garden services, port security and diving showed off their unique PPE outfits which keep them safe during the execution of their duties.

Employees were then educated via a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) simulation and information on causes of hypertension and how it can be managed.

The rest of the day was filled with competitive paintball, touch rugby, street soccer and many more activities. What was evident was that whilst employees had fun, safety remained a priority.

The Port of PE’s management team is ready to conduct Visible Felt Leadership, which is the role management plays as change agents and facilitators of a safety culture in an organisation through observations and engagements with stakeholders, employees and customers - ensuring continuous improvement in the workplace in relation to health and safety. In the front row from the left are Faisal Sultan (Operations), Zinhle Small (Property), Nelson Masophi (Security), Zanda Mkhulisi (SHE) and Rajesh Dana (Port Manager). In the back row are from the left Captain Brynn Adamson (Harbour Master), Sujit Bhagattjee (New Business Development), Theo Sethosa (Engineering), Ian Du Preez (IT) and Xolani Ngcivana (Procurement), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The Port of PE’s management team is ready to conduct Visible Felt Leadership, which is the role management plays as change agents and facilitators of a safety culture in an organisation through observations and engagements with stakeholders, employees and customers – ensuring continuous improvement in the workplace in relation to health and safety. In the front row from the left are Faisal Sultan (Operations), Zinhle Small (Property), Nelson Masophi (Security), Zanda Mkhulisi (SHE) and Rajesh Dana (Port Manager). In the back row are from the left Captain Brynn Adamson (Harbour Master), Sujit Bhagattjee (New Business Development), Theo Sethosa (Engineering), Ian Du Preez (IT) and Xolani Ngcivana (Procurement)

 

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TAU MORWE REPLACED SIX MONTHS AS ACTING HEAD OF TRANSNET

Tau Morwe, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Tau Morwe

The Transnet board of directors has announced that the contract of the acting group chief executive Tau Morwe will not be further extended, after Morwe served for a total of two three-month terms following the dismissal of Siyabonga Gama.

Morwe previously held positions as head of three Transnet divisions before retiring some years ago. He was brought back by President Ramaphosa to serve a three-month tenure as acting group CE after Gama was removed, and had his contract renewed for a further three months ending 30 April.

During his period as acting head of Transnet Morwe set in motion a number of programmes and plans aimed at addressing the issues facing the parastatal, which has come under the focus of investigations into corruption concerning the controversial locomotive purchase, ordered prior to Morwe’s temporary appointment, and other issues.

In statement the Transnet board said it commits to continuing with the programme and plans started by Morwe.

As Transnet’s new group CE the board has appointed Mohammed Mahomedy but also in an acting capacity. Mahomedy has been Transnet’s acting chief financial officer for the past 12 months.

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AfDB CALLS FOR URGENT GLOBAL ACTION AFTER SECOND MOZAMBIQUE CYCLONE

Cyclone Kenneth overland in northern Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called for urgent global action in the wake of a second cyclone to hit the southern Africa coastal region in six weeks.

“We must have concerted international cooperation to establish management systems and responses to combat natural disasters,” said Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina.

Cyclone Kenneth is also the most extreme tropical cyclone to hit Mozambique in the last 60 years, according to official records.

AfDB logo, featured in Africa PORTS& SHIPS maritime news online

“Timely intervention of national, regional and international actors and stakeholders are crucial when disaster strikes. Increasingly, Africa’s ecological challenges will only be successfully tackled through the harmony of efforts and activities of continental and global institutions,” Adesina urged this week from the Bank’s Abidjan headquarters.

Cyclone Kenneth ripped through Comoros and Mozambique last week and is causing extreme flooding in areas where more than 70,000 people live, according to the country’s National Directorate for the Management of Water Resources.

Historic old Roman Catholic church on Ibo Island. Picture by Terry Hutson, featured in report concerning Cyclone Kenneth in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Historic old Roman Catholic church on Ibo Island.     Picture by Terry Hutson

Ibo Island

Islands along the Mozambique coast have been similarly damaged by the storm. Images and films appearing from one of the first flights into the historic island of Ibo show almost every house on the island flattened by the fierceness of the cyclone.

Earlier, from 14/15 March 15, cyclone Idai began pounding Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe and impacted the livelihoods of more than 3 million people. The official death toll now stands at 1,007, with 602 killed in Mozambique, 344 in Zimbabwe, 60 in Malawi and one in Madagascar, according to relief agencies.

Infrastructural damage from Idai across Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe is estimated to be at least US$1 billion.

Unprecedented humanitarian crisis

“We are on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. We need to brace up for post-cyclone flooding, landslides and disease outbreaks,” Adesina warned.

A high-level Bank delegation, led by Mateus Magala, Vice President for Corporate Services and Human Resources, has begun visiting the affected areas.

Speaking from Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, Magala said, “What we saw on the ground in Mozambique after Idai, and in camps housing internally displaced persons in the south of Malawi, shows that we need to focus on restoring the dignity of citizens and the economic stability of communities when disaster strikes.”

Other members of the Bank delegation include Patrick Zimpita, Executive Director for Malawi, Zambia, and Mauritius; Heinrich Gaomab II, Executive Director for Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe; and Kapil Kapoor, Director General, Southern Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office.

Zimbabwe

The Bank delegation is also expected in Harare this week to meet with donor agencies and officials of the Government of Zimbabwe. They will also tour Chimanimani, Chipinge and Mutare districts in Manicaland

Heavy rains

Rains were still pounding northern Mozambique on Tuesday, several days after Cyclone Kenneth, while the United Nations said aid workers face “an incredibly difficult situation” in reaching thousands of survivors.

UN humanitarian spokeswoman Gemma Connell said bad weather kept badly needed supplies from arriving in the main city of Pemba on Monday. This will be a challenge in the rainy days ahead, she told The Associated Press.

More than 30,000 houses and buildings have been destroyed, the Mozambique Government says.

After Cyclone Kenneth came ashore a little to the north of Pemba, the system began to ‘linger’ as had been anticipated, and while the winds began to drop in intensity the storm deposited have rains over a wide area, causing unprecedented flooding across the country.

The small port of Pemba in the very large bay of the same name. Picture by Terry Hutson, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The small port of Pemba in the very large bay of the same name.      Picture by Terry Hutson

Port of Pemba

The port city/town of Pemba suffered badly with the flooding and people being forced to find high ground to take shelter.

We do not have any up-to-date reports of possible damage to the port and its infrastructure, unfortunately.

The islands of the Querimba Group were cut off with boats and aircraft unable to reach them with supplies due to the conditions including strong seas. A first flight into Ibo island has since been made, taking fortified biscuits another supplies.

In the Comores little news has reached the outside world other than isolated reports that three or possible more people lost their lives as cyclone Kenneth passed overhead. The Comores being out in mid-Mozambique Channel were the first to feel the fury of the cyclone.

Cyclone Kenneth has been described as the strongest in record to have struck Mozambique and possibly the first to have affected the far north of Mozambique. Its effects were also felt in southern Tanzania as far north as the port of Mtwara.

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PUNTLAND TURNS TO UAE TO HELP BOOST MARITIME SECURITY

Map shoiwng Puntland in north-east Africa

The semi-autonomous region/state of Puntland in the north of Somalia which encompasses the Horn of Africa, has turned to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to help bolster the capacity of its maritime police, reports Dalsan Radio broadcasting from Mogadishu.

The move by the state is said to be in a bid to boost capacity to manage security in the Gulf of Adena and access to the Red Sea.

The plea was made by…[restrict] President of the regional state of Puntland, Said Abdullahi Deni, during his delegation’s visit to Abu Dhabi between 8-19 April.

“While in Abu Dhabi, we submitted a request to UAE officials asking to help us in the enhancement and strengthening of our Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), because of the increasing need to guard the coastline,” said President Deni.

“With the crisis in Yemen still ongoing, there are high risks of illicit weapons, illegal migrants, terrorists or anti-peace elements finding their way into the country through the Red Sea. This is why we need UAE’s assistance to strengthen the capacity of the force in the sea,” he added.

In 2017, Puntland’s Marine Forces recovered anti-aircraft guns, machine guns, AK-47 rifles and dozens of boxes of ammunition from a boat which was stopped in coastal waters off the Horn of Africa.[/restrict]

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SA NAVY TESTS NEW SUBMARINE TOWER ESCAPE SAFETY SYSTEM (TESS)

Chief Petty Officer Ayanda Mahlobo and Petty Officer Eric Luvhengo wearing the special escape suits, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Chief Petty Officer Ayanda Mahlobo and Petty Officer Eric Luvhengo wearing the special escape suits

The SA Navy has successfully carried out tests at Simon’s Town with the new submarine tower escape safety system.

This followed shortcomings discovered in the original two-man escape procedure after the Class 209 Type 1400 submarines were commissioned. The system involves the submarine being at an average depth of about 100 metres when the necessity for escape occurs.

This system allows for two submariners at a time, wearing specially designed suits that have air inside them which allows them to rise rapidly to the surface, to climb onto the ladder in the conning tower of the submarine, wait for the tower to be flooded and then rise to the surface. The tower is then refilled with air, ready for the next two escapees.

The problem that arose with the original system was that as the tower floods, the bottom sailor was being forced upwards by the air in his suit, causing both members to become stuck at the hatch opening.

Following this a South African developed and produced prototype system that enhances the originally fitted system was tested onboard the SA Navy submarine, SAS MANTHATISI.

The successful test was conducted from a depth of 20 metres. Project TESS, an acronym for submarine Tower Escape Safety System, was initiated by the South African Navy in 2009 in conjunction with ARMSCOR, the Institute of Maritime Technology and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

PO Eric Luvhengo reaches the surface a few seconds after Chief Petty Officer Mahlobo while carrying out a test of project TESS, as featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritme news online
PO Eric Luvhengo reaches the surface a few seconds after Chief Petty Officer Mahlobo

The new system sees a special mechanical rail system fitted on the inside of the tower.

Each submariner hooks on to this rail system, below each other. As the tower floods, the rail system keeps the submariners fixed in position, despite the air in their suits.
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The submariners are released by means of a hold-trigger and release mechanism that is automated upon opening the tower upper hatch. This system works even if the submariners are unconscious. The entire procedure takes approximately three to ten seconds for both submariners to surface at a depth of ten metres. The escape cycle is repeated until such time as the complete crew has escaped.

The SA Military Health Service Institute for Maritime Medicine also played an extensive role in the planning phase as well as providing medical support due to the risks associated with quick ascents, such as barotrauma (decompression sickness), hypothermia or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Members of the SA Navy divers were close at hand to assist the members as they reached the surface.

It is envisaged that the TESS will eventually be incorporated into all SA Navy submarines.

The successful completion of the Tower Escape will also be an additional requirement to qualify as a submariner.

South Africa’s submarine fleet will be the first in the wrld fitted with such a system.

SA Navy Diver Able Seaman Lindokuhle Ngidi signals everything is okay, while a relieved Petty Officer Eric Luvhengo agrees. Pictures courtesy SA Navy and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
SA Navy Diver Able Seaman Lindokuhle Ngidi signals everything is okay, while a relieved Petty Officer Eric Luvhengo agrees.     Pictures courtesy SA Navy

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ZEABORN ENTERS TANKER SHIP MANAGEMENT AND BUYS CPO TANKERS

CSM New Orleans, one of Zeaborn's heavylift carriers, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Rickmers New Orleans, one of Zeaborn’s heavylift carriers

The Bremen-based
ZEABORN Group has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Claus-Peter Offen Tankschiffreederei (GmbH & Co) KG (CPO Tankers), the tanker management subsidiary of Offen Group.

The relevant contracts were signed on 29 April 2019. The completion of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance ad the parties have agreed to keep the key financial data confidential.

With the takeover of CPO Tankers, ZEABORN says it stays on track concerning its strategy of further consolidating the shipping industry and…[restrict] expanding its services as an integrated and globally active shipping company. The acquisition enables ZEABORN Ship Management to expand its service portfolio to the wet market for oil and product tankers.

For Offen Group the divestment of its tanker ship management business came as a consequence of its future strategic focus on being an owner/manager of post-panamax container vessels, a segment where it continues to be one of the world’s top three players.

“With CPO Tankers, a well-known and very reputable company joins our ship management activities,” explained Ove Meyer and Jan-Hendrik Többe, the ZEABORN Group’s Managing Partners. “CPO Tankers, the management and the employees are a great fit for our organisation, enabling us to expand our service portfolio with a first-class tanker management.”

CPO Group’s Managing Owner Claus-Peter Offen said that the Offen Group wants to grow its leading position as owner/manager of post-panamax container vessels through significant investments in this sector. “Pure ship management services in tank or bulk are no longer in our focus,” he said.[/restrict]

Vectis Falcon, another of the bulkers in the fleet of the Zeaborn Group, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Vectis Falcon, another of the bulkers in the fleet of the Zeaborn Group

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KENYAN AVACADOS GAIN ACCESS TO LUCRATIVE CHINESE MARKET

Kenya has the door opened for export of its Avacados to China, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS online
Kenya has the door opened for export of its Avacados to China

Following a trade deal signed when President Kenyatta met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing recently, Kenyan farmers may now export their popular hass avocados to China.

The signing of the agreement, which makes Kenya the first African nation to export avocados to the Asian nation with a market of over 1.4 billion consumers, comes after a long and comprehensive approval process that included Chinese experts visiting Kenyan farmers.

It is estimated that when the agreement is fully implemented, the Chinese market will absorb over…[restrict] 40 percent of Kenya’s avocado production, making it one of the largest importers of the fruit. Other destinations of Kenyan avocados include Europe and the US.

Signing of protocol

The signing of the protocol on sanitary and phytosanitary (an agreement relating to the health of plants, especially with respect to the rules of international trade)requirements for the export of frozen avocado was the last major hurdle for the Kenyan crop to be accepted in the highly regulated but lucrative Chinese market.

Avocado becomes the second farm produce from Kenya to access the Chinese horticultural market after Stevia and will be followed by 13 other priority farm produce among them flowers, mangoes, French beans, peanut, vegetables, meat, herbs, bixa and macadamia.

The meeting between Presidents Kenyatta and Xi Jinping and their delegations focused on promoting economic and trade exchange in 8 key initiatives identified during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting held in Beijing last year.

These initiatives include industrial promotion, trade facilitation, infrastructure connectivity, green development and people-to-people exchange. Others are capacity building, healthcare, and peace and security.

In addition to the avocado deal, President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of an agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation covering all sectors of mutual interest and an MOU on joint promotion of the implementation of the 8 FOCAC priority areas.

During the bilateral talks held at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, President Kenyatta applauded China’s continued readiness to open its market to Kenyan products.

He said the solid partnership between the two countries has brought great benefits to the people of Kenya especially in areas of poverty alleviation and economic development.

Key development partner

In recent years, China has grown to become one of Kenya’s key development partners, a relationship that has among other successes led to the implementation of key infrastructure projects among them the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and several key roads.[/restrict]

Avacaodo tree, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

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SOUTH AFRICA’S CRUISE SEASON CLOSES WITH DEPARTURE FROM DURBAN OF MSC MUSICA

MSC MUSICA arriving in her South African homeport of Durban during her maiden season in the country, as featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
MSC MUSICA arriving in her South African homeport of Durban during her maiden season in the country

MSC MUSICA, which has been homeported at Durban for the past six months, made her final call to the port on Friday, 26 April, bringing the Durban port’s 2018/19 cruise season to a splendid close.

This was also the final sailing of any cruise ship in the South African cruise season.

MSC Musica had been on her maiden tour in South African waters between November 2018 and April 2019, setting sail from Durban and Cape Town to various locations including Walvis Bay, Mauritius, La Reunion Island, and Mozambique’s Pomene Bay and Portuguese Island.

Acting Port Manager at the Port of Durban, Nokuzola Nkowane, said MSC Musica – like her predecessor MSC Sinfonia – had used Durban as a homeport during the season, returning to the port at the end of each cruise.

The ship also operated for a short time from Cape Town.

MSC Musica on her normal M berth at Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
MSC Musica on her normal M berth at Durban

“MSC Cruises must be praised for its continued investment into the South African cruise tourism industry, introducing exceptional cruise ships and new itineraries that attract thousands of domestic and international tourists each year,” said Nkowane.

“Their commitment has certainly helped to cement the Port of Durban’s status as Africa’s Leading Cruise Port, as awarded at the 2018 World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean segment,” she said.

MSC Cruises has partnered with TNPA to transform the port’s N-Shed into a more welcoming facility for domestic and international tourists, she said. The company is also a partner in the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) consortium, which has secured a 25-year port concession from TNPA to finance, construct, operate, maintain and transfer a new Cruise Terminal Facility in the Port of Durban at an estimated value of more than R200 million.

“MSC Cruises’ continued partnerships with TNPA demonstrate that they are committed to supporting efforts to expand port infrastructure to accommodate more cruise ships, as well as larger ships,” said Nkowane.

She said MSC Musica had made 41 calls to the Port of Durban alone during the latest season. The ship was built in 2006 and boasts 1275 cabins, accommodating 20% more passengers than her predecessor, MSC Sinfonia.

For the forthcoming Southern African 2019/20 cruise season – which begins in November 2019 – MSC Cruises will be bringing the similarly sized MSC Orchestra to the continent.

Nkowane said TNPA looked forward to welcoming the new visitor, which will make her maiden visit to the Port of Durban on 27 October 2019.

To bid a temporary farewell to MSC Musica and to mark the close of the cruise season for the Port of Durban and South Africa as a whole, TNPA held a ceremonial tug spray and gift exchange ceremony aboard the vessel, while traditional dancers performed on the quayside. Durban Harbour Master, Captain Sabelo Mdlalose of TNPA presented a plaque to the ship’s master, Captain Ciro Pinto.

Latest on the new Durban passenger terminal

Artist's drawing of the future new Durban cruise terminal, due for opening in 2020 - featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Artist’s drawing of the future new Durban cruise terminal, due for opening in 2020

KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Pty Ltd (KCT) is presently finalising the detailed design of the Cruise Terminal Building. The anticipated commissioning of the project is 2020.

Durban Harbour Master, Captain Sabelo Mdlalose of TNPA presented a gift to MSC Musica master, Captain Ciro Pinto, to bid a temporary farewell to the ship and to mark the close of the cruise season for the Port of Durban and South Africa as a whole, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Durban Harbour Master, Captain Sabelo Mdlalose of TNPA presented a gift to MSC Musica master, Captain Ciro Pinto, to bid a temporary farewell to the ship and to mark the close of the cruise season for the Port of Durban and South Africa as a whole

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MSC SOUTH AFRICA TO TAKE DELIVERY OF EIGHT KONECRANES LIFT TRUCKS

Konecranes reach stackers for MSC South Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Konecranes reach stackers for MSC South Africa

Mediterranean Shipping Company South Africa (MSC) is to shortly take delivery of a fleet of eight Smart Connected lift trucks from the firm of Konecranes.

The order consists of four reach stackers and four empty container handlers, all Smart Connected Lift Trucks, and will go into service during May at MSC container depots at Durban, Cape Town and a new MSC operation in Gauteng.

MSC South Africa regularly updates their equipment in their annual fleet replacement for existing operations and as part of this process two SMV 5/6 ECC 90 empty container handlers (ECHs) were ordered for Durban and two SMV 6/7 ECHs for Cape Town.

The four SMV 4531 TC5 reach stackers, each with a lifting capacity of 45 tons, are destined for a new MSC operation to handle growing demand in the Gauteng region.

“In order to stay strong in the market, we need to provide a competitive service with maximum efficiency,” said Ashley Bechoo, MSC Fleet Manager for South Africa. “We want equipment that not only performs well, but helps us manage and maintain our fleet, and especially monitor and control CO2 emissions and fuel costs.”

Winfried Lux, regional manager IMEA for Konecranes Lift Trucks, said that MSC was a brand-new customer. “We are looking forward to working closely with the MSC team to maximise their operational efficiency with our high-performing lifting equipment.”

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MAERSK SUPPLY AWARDED FPSO MOORING PROJECT OFF WEST AFRICA

Maersk Supply offshor supply vessel, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Maersk Supply Service has won a contract to deliver an integrated FPSO mooring installation and replacement solution for an unnamed American oil major in the Gulf of Guinea.

Maersk Supply will provide the full work scope from project management to execution, the company said.

Responsibilities undertaken as part of the project include engineering, procurement, transportation of mooring equipment, safety management and offshore execution using four of…[restrict] Maersk Supply Service’s large anchor handling vessels as well as ROV and survey services.

Maersk Supply Service has partnered with InterMoor, who will support the project with its expertise within engineering, design and offshore execution of mooring system operations.

“With this major contract, we add both a new customer and a new country to our track record of providing integrated solutions,” said CEO Steen S. Karstensen. “While we have supported this customer with marine services in the past, we are pleased that they recognise our expanded capabilities and have shown their trust in Maersk Supply Service to deliver on this complex scope of work.”

Karstensen said that as the project lead of this FPSO mooring installation, Maersk Supply was looking forward to further strengthening its position in the market as a preferred solutions provider.

The project will be led from Maersk Supply Service’s office in Aberdeen, with an integrated project team supporting from Houston. The planning and engineering work starts immediately, with offshore execution expected to take place during 4Q 2019.

“Our goal is to take a collaborative approach that reduces risk and minimises interfaces for our customers,” said Head of Integrated Solutions, Olivier Trouvé.

“Africa is a key region for Maersk Supply Service’s integrated solutions offerings and we look forward to demonstrating how our versatile assets, marine expertise, project management and engineering capabilities delivers exactly this.”[/restrict]

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KONECRANES COMPLETES MAJOR REFURBISHMENT CHALLENGE IN RICHARDS BAY

Refurbishment of a digester jib at Mindi, Richards Bay, undertaken by Konecranes and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Konecranes recently undertook a major refurbishment of a 16.8 tonne digester jib at Mondi in Richards Bay.

The refurbishment was completed well ahead of schedule.

The entire job, removal, design, reverse engineer, paint, re-assemble, install, wiring & final commissioning took 52 working days from date of project start to completion.

In October last year the Richards Bay team undertook the challenging removal of the crane. The Jib sat 80 metres high on top of the digester and a 440t mobile crane with luffing booms was used to remove it, together with another 220 tonne mobile crane. The removal took about seven days due to weather problems, including strong winds.

Because of the serious structural damage the jib was condemned by the Konecranes service team on site.

“The whole project ran smoothly despite the often adverse weather conditions,” said John MacDonald, Service Director at Konecranes. “We have an excellent crew, led by Ferdi Pieterse, which made this possible. They put the Konecranes name on the top of the leader board by showing that we can handle any size job in Richards Bay.”

The digester Jib was handed over exactly a month ahead of schedule.

refurbishing a digester jib at Mindi in Richards Bay, undertaken by Konecranes and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

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ANADARKO CHEVRON NOT A DONE DEAL AS OXY ENTERS THE BIDDING

Mozambique's Block One where large deposits of gas have been discovered, and where Anadarko has a significant interest, featured in report carried in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Mozambique’s Area One in the Rovuma Basin where large deposits of gas have been discovered, and where Anadarko has a significant interest

Just when it appeared that the bid by Chevron to take over the oil interests of Anadarko, which has a major involvement in the oil and gas developments in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin, was a done deal so Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) steps in with a counter bid, bringing all discussions back to the drawing board.

Anadarko, which appeared to have agreed to sell to Chevron, said last week it will carefully review Occidental’s offer made on Wednesday and advised shareholders to hold back from making any decisions or taking action.

The deal with Chevron would have seen Chevron acquire all the shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction worth US$33 billion, based on…[restrict] $65 a share. The offer was obviously a good one because Anadarko’s directors unanimously agreed the sale.

That was until Oxy stepped in with its counter and better offer of $76 a share based on Anadarko shareholders receiving $38.00 in cash and 0.6094 shares of Occidental common stock for each share of Anadarko common stock.

According to the intelligence form of Wood Mackenzie, Oxy’s bid is worth $38 billion.

Chevron banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

“In accordance with the terms of the Chevron Merger Agreement, and in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, Anadarko’s board of directors will carefully review Occidental’s proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company’s stockholders,” Anadarko said on receiving Oxy’s offer.

“The Anadarko board has not made any determination as to whether Occidental’s proposal constitutes, or could reasonably be expected to result in, a superior proposal under the terms of the Chevron Merger Agreement. The Anadarko board expects to respond to Occidental’s proposal upon completing its review and accordingly reaffirms its existing recommendation of the transaction with Chevron at this time. Anadarko stockholders are advised to take no action at this time.”[/restrict]

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MOSSEL BAY PORT PARTICIPATES IN EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES

Mossel Bay Port Manager Shadrach Tshikalange (centre) at the Earth Day Clean-up campaign on 26 April 2019 in KwaNonqaba alongside grade 7 learners from selected TNPA adopted schools, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Mossel Bay Port Manager Shadrach Tshikalange (centre) at the Earth Day Clean-up campaign on 26 April 2019 in KwaNonqaba alongside grade 7 learners from selected TNPA adopted schools

The South African port of Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape has been involved in several initiatives to commemorate Earth Day.

These were being undertaken in collaboration with Oceans Research and the Mossel Bay Municipality and involved primary school learners, include a school waste management competition, clean-up campaign and an educational port visit.

Celebrated annually on 22 April, Earth Day calls for worldwide support for environmental protection. It was…[restrict] first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.

The commemorative activities kicked off with the launch of an Earth Day Waste Management Competition, which focused on educating school learners on the importance of reducing plastic pollution. Teams of grade 7 learners from selected adopted schools were invited to develop a presentation on environmental conservation, with special emphasis on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and eventually remove plastics from the environment.

Learners were judged on presentation, relevance of content to the theme, practical recommendations on how to manage waste and creativity.

Clean-up day - grade 7 learners from selected TNPA adopted schools at the Earth Day Clean-up campaign on 26 April 2019 in KwaNonqaba, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Clean-up day – grade 7 learners from selected TNPA adopted schools at the Earth Day Clean-up campaign on 26 April 2019 in KwaNonqaba

An Earth Day Clean-up campaign was also held last Friday 26 April 2019, where the port of Mossel Bay, Mossel Bay Municipality and Ocean Research employees along with volunteers and the grade 7 learners gathered to clean up an area in KwaNonqaba.

The campaign also provided practical experience to the learners and other stakeholders on the importance of taking personal responsibility in managing community waste.

On the final day which is today, 30 April 2019, the grade 7 learners will visit the port of Mossel Bay, where they will benefit from career presentation and practical job shadowing activities that will expose them to the various careers opportunities at TNPA and the marine industry.

It is at this juncture that the learners will also present their Earth Day Waste Management Competition presentations.

According to port of Mossel Bay Port Manager, Shadrack Tshikalange, environmental awareness is embedded in TNPA’s Corporate Social Investment strategy. “We believe deliberate action is required to drive sustainable social impact. We are also committed towards empowering the local youth with knowledge by involving them in awareness activities around significant days like Earth Day,” he said.[/restrict]

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ANGRY TRUCKERS BLOCKADE RICHARDS BAY ACCESS ROAD OVER FOREIGN DRIVERS

Truck drivers blockaded the Alton intersection road on the John Ross Highway near the port of Richards Bay on Sunday 28 April in a protest that they said was aimed against the continued employment of foreign truck drivers.

This type of action has mainly been confined to the busy Durban- Gauteng highway in which trucks have even been burned, although protests have also taken place on the N-2 leading from Durban to Richards Bay.

The Richards Bay ‘demonstration’ was much smaller by comparison to earlier protests at Mooi River and of shorter duration but it served to make the point that the anger in local drivers is intense and ongoing.

According to reports there were about 45 -50 trucks involved – sufficient to completely block the important intersection and forcing motorists to find alternative routes into the port of Richards Bay.

The protest lasted about three hours and there were no violent acts such as burning of tyres or vehicles. Police remained on hand and eventually assisted in clearing the scene with the protesters removing their trucks and reopening the intersection to other traffic.

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KENYA REVEALS PLANS TO BUILD NEW PORT AT KISUMU

Lake Victoria's most famous steamer, VICTORIA, still in service, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
Lake Victoria’s most famous steamer, VICTORIA, still in service

A new port is being planned for the city of Kisumu on Lake Victoria in order to provide improved harbour facilities ahead of the arrival of the standard gauge railway (SGR) from Mombasa and Nairobi.

Costing an estimated US$140 million the new port will be expected to handle increased volumes of traffic as a direct result of the SGR and a new emphasis that is being placed on lake shipping. The new port will consist initially of two multi-purpose berths and one for work boats.

The use of Kisumu had lessened considerably over the years for which a number of reasons have been offered.

One of these has been the growth of weeds such as water hyacinth that have encroached and blocked many waterways, making access to the port difficult, but the main reason has surely be one of a neglect and lack of interest by the respective governments – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as well as the DRC in maintaining and improving ship activity across the lake.

With the revival of the railways by way of Kenya’s SGR which is now in operation between the port city of Mombasa and the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, and which is currently being extended towards Naivasha from where it will turn towards the lake and Kisumu, an added pressure of reviving trading by ship on the waters of the lake has become critical.

The dredger MANGO TREE has been engaged with removing some of the water hyacinth that clogs Kisumu port and large sections in other parts of the lake. The captured hyacinth is then turned into fertiliser. Picture: Mango Tree Group, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
The dredger MANGO TREE has been engaged with removing some of the water hyacinth that clogs Kisumu port and large sections in other parts of the lake. The ‘captured’ hyacinth is then turned into fertiliser

In addition a rival but equally supportive SGR is being built from Tanzania’s port of Dar es Salaam which which will initially terminate at Mwanza on the southern part of Lake Victoria. With Tanzania having order new ferries and ships there is added impetus to the need for improved port facilities.

All three East African countries have announced programmes of upgrading and providing new vessels to operate the once-busy shipping services on Africa’s largest lake.

Ironically, the intention of all three countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania is to interconnect with their SGR network. The Kenya SGR will ultimately connect with a similar gauge railway being built from the Uganda capital to the Kenya border.

At the same time Tanzania has made known its intention of similarly connecting its SGR with Uganda where it too shares a common border, as well as the other two landlocked nations in the region, Rwanda and Burundi.

A third branch or extension of Tanzania’s SGR will end at the port town of Kigoma on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, from where shipping will operate to the eastern DRC side of the lake.

Kisumu port

The new port at Kisumu is to be built at Kisian, some short distance away from the old port and about ten miles from the city.

Some figures provided by Kenya Ports Authority reveal that Kisumu handled the following cargo or freight during 2018.

Exports from Kisumu

12,000 tonnes of fertiliser bound for Uganda, 240 tonnes of Magadi soda, 108 tonnes of heavy machinery to Tanzania and two tonnes of assorted cargo and a bottle filling machine.

Imports into Kisumu

1,100 tonnes of sugar from Uganda, 50 tonnes of heavy trucks from Dar es Salaam.

The above figures indicat how much business the once busy port of Kisumu has lost.

To justify the cost of building a new port in addition to extending the SGR via Kisumu, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) under whom the Kisian port at Kisumu falls, will have to undertake a strong and intense marketing campaign while also ensuring that a reliable shipping service becomes available.

The KPA has indicated it will be targeting the transportation and shipping of cement, coal and petroleum products through the new port. Terminal operators will be appointed to manage and operate the handling of the respective commodities from the new port. source: Alternative Africa & AP&S

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PIRATED SHIP OFFSHORE OF LAGOS RESCUED BY SPANISH NAVY

Nigerian pirates, featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Details have become available of the tanker that was rescued from pirates by a ship from the Spanish Navy.

The incident occurred earlier in April, on 5 April as the tanker was undergoing sea trials off the coast of Lagos in Nigeria.

At around 21h00 that evening nine pirates armed with automatic weapons and a RPG arrived by speedboat and succeeded in boarding the tanker as the vessel was underway.

On observing the pirates already on board the duty officer raised the alarm and…[restrict] the crew hurriedly took shelter – the reports don’t say where.

However the duty officer was captured by the pirates as they spread across the ship. Holding the man as hostage the crew was ordered to come out from their hiding place, which they duly did.

Having now taken full control of the vessel the pirates set about destroying the navigation equipment before setting about to steal the ship and crew’s property. Having done so they then locked the crew inside one of the cabins while holding the master hostage against the crew’s good behaviour.

It is not clear what then transpired but four days later, on 9 April a Spanish naval ship that was on patrol in the Gulf of Guinea approached while trying to establish communications with the tanker. When no response was received the Spanish ship approached even closer, at which point the pirates absconded over the side of the vessel into their speedboat and hurriedly made their escape.

On boarding the tanker the navy boarding party was greeted by the master who informed them of what had taken place.

After completing their inquiries and seeing to the freeing of the crew the Spanish personnel on board returned to their ship leaving the tanker’s master and crew back in command and preparing to get underway.

The Master told the naval boarding team that they had been held hostage for four days. However, the drama was not yet over and as the tanker got underway the main engines began to overheat and had to be shut down.

At this point the chief engineer noticed an ingress of water into the engine room, which was soon fixed. The malfunctioning engines were another matter though and with the navy ship having already departed the tanker was forced to drift, which it did for the next number of days.

Finally, the tanker was able to hail a fishing boat that happened on the scene which enabled the tanker’s master to make contact with the owners for the tanker to be towed to Ghana where it arrived on 22 April.[/restrict]

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NEW TONNAGE FOR ONE

ONE Apus at sea, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online
ONE Apus

It was reported from Singapore on 24 April that Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. (ONE) had taken delivery of the 14,000-TEU Containership ONE APUS.

ONE APUS, with a capacity of 14,000 TEU, was successfully delivered at the Kure Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation. The sublet owner is understood to be Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

This delivery is reported as ONE’s second this year, and the sixth of a series of seven newly built 14,000 TEU magenta containerships, after ONE GRUS was…[restrict] delivered on 1 February 2019.

Equipped with outstanding…[restrict] safety and environmentally-friendly capabilities such as structural arrest technology and highly efficient welding technology, ONE APUS employs a hull form with minimised engine-room space to improve cargo capacity.

Furthermore, ONE APUS is fitted with the world’s first dual rating system technology in the main diesel engine to facilitate flexibility in operations and boost fuel efficiency and, in turn, to significantly reduce greenhouse gases. The Crack Arrest Technology is also implemented to strengthen and provide excellent structural safety, it is claimed.

With the Integrated Navigation System (INS), the navigation bridge consolidates functions of vessel systems to efficiently reduce the crew’s work. Additionally, for an improvement in safety wide windows have also been provided for better visibility for crews on the bridge wings when berthing and unberthing.

ONE APUS will be deployed on East Coast 4 (EC4) service from Asia to the US East Coast, under THE Alliance (THEA*).

Port Rotation

Kaohsiung-Hong Kong-Yantian-Cai Mep-Singapore-New York-Norfolk-Savannah-Charleston-New York-Singapore-Kaohsiung.

Vessel Specification
LOA 364.15 metres
Deadweight tonnage 138,611 dwt
Beam 50.6 m
Net tonnage 146,694 nrt
Depth 29.5 m
Capacity 14,052 TEU
Full Draft 15.8 m
Flag: Japan

*Comprising ONE, Hapag-Lloyd and Yang Ming Line.[/restrict]

Reported by Paul Ridgway
London

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BIG WELCOME FOR NSRI’S NEW GENERATION SEARCH & RESCUE VESSEL

Cape Town welcome for NSRI's first new search & rescue craft, Alick Rennie which is going to Station 5 at Durban. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The official welcoming party of the National Sea Rescue Institute’s new class of Search and Rescue vessel took place at Quay 4 in the Cape Town V&A waterfront on Saturday 27 April 2019.

About 400 guests were on hand to join the Sea Rescue team in celebrating the new highly sophisticated rescue vessels inclusion in the volunteer organisation’s Search and Rescue fleet.

The NSRI is currently the only maritime rescue service operating in South African territorial waters and, although most rescues are coastal and inshore, an increasing number of these operations require search and rescue vessels with advanced capability in technology, and the ability to safely increase the endurance of the crew further out to sea.

The fleet of 10m and 12m rescue vessels (known as Class 1 rescue vessels) are ready to be retired. The NSRI’s commitment to its volunteer crew is to provide top class rescue boats that are suited to the severe conditions in which it operates.

“The safety of our rescue crew and the people who we rescue is our priority,” said NSRI Spokesman Craig Lambinon.

He said that the NSRI therefore needs to replace the current Class 1 rescue boats with craft that are well suited to the Search and Rescue missions including deep sea operations, medical evacuations and mass rescue incidents. “The vessel that we have chosen to fulfil this role is the 14m SAR (Search and Rescue) ORC.”

After extensive research and development, the decision was made to have the first vessel, a 14m SAR ORC vessel that has been named ALICK RENNIE, built to completion in France and the second vessel, the DONNA NICHOLAS built as a hull, deck and bulkheads in France, to be completed locally in South Africa.

Both vessels were designed by naval architects Pantocarene and manufactured by Bernard Shipyard in France.

Alick Rennie on the water in Cape Town harbour before sailing  today (Sunday 28 April) for Durban. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

After a 2 year long build project, they were successfully delivered in Cape Town at no charge by the NSRI’s local partner, Safmarine on 28 March 2019.

“It is our vision to support local people and local industries by having our rescue boats built in South Africa,” says NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson.

“We are very proud to announce that Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing will partner with the NSRI to build the future generation of deep sea search and rescue fleet in Cape Town,” he said.

“Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing has always been a proud supporter of the NSRI,” said Mark Delany, Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing’s Managing Director. “We are excited to partner with the NSRI in building the new fleet of Search and Rescue vessels.

“Not only does this support an organisation which provides an invaluable service to all South Africans who use the sea, but also, by building these vessels in South Africa, this project supports local industry and job creation. Furthermore, the project will develop skills in the boat building industry, most notably the specialisation of composite offshore search and rescue craft building.”

The SAR ORC Alick Rennie has the latest electronic navigation and communication equipment and is self-righting, which will give increased safety for crew and those who the NSRI rescues. Building the new generation of ORC vessels however comes at quite a price.

Many of the NSRI supporters have bought into this long-term vision and have contributed towards the capital investment. The funding is ring-fenced and accrues interest in a project account. The new fleet of 14m vessels will enable the NSRI to extend its range and survivor carrying capacity but also means that there is a need to modify the boatsheds to accommodate them.

The Alick Rennie is destined for Sea Rescue’s Station 5 in Durban and will depart Cape Town today (28 April 2019).

“We would welcome as much new support as we can,” says Lambinon, “so please contact Alison Smith, our Fundraising Manager – alison@searescue.org.za if you would like to get involved in helping to fund our next generation of Sea Rescue SAR vessels.”

Alick Rennie S&R vessel for the NSRI in Durban station 5. Picture: NSRI, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

 

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TRANSNET PREPARES TO TAKE DELIVERY OF TWO NEW AW109SP HELICOPTERS

One of the new AgustaWestland helicopters due to enter service at Durban and Richards Bay. Picture: Leonardo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news One of the new AgustaWestland helicopters due to enter service at Durban and Richards Bay. Picture: Leonardo

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) recently held a signing ceremony with Italian company Leonardo for acceptance of two new helicopters to service the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

The two aircraft replace two earlier models of the same type already in service with the South African port authority.

The AgustaWestland (AW 109SP) helicopters, valued at around R250 million, were manufactured at the Leonardo plant in Vergiate, Italy, and they are expected to be delivered to TNPA in South Africa by June 2019.

Leading the TNPA delegation at the signing ceremony held in Italy on 17 April 2019 was TNPA’s Acting Chief Executive, Nozipho Mdawe, who signed acceptance on behalf of TNPA alongside Leonardo’s Head of Macro Region – Africa & Middle-East, Gianfranco Sottotetti.

One of the earlier versions (Feb 2010) of the AgustaWestland 109 helicopters which is based at Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online One of the earlier versions (Feb 2010) of the AgustaWestland 109 helicopters which is based at Durban. Picture: Terry Hutson

Mdawe said the two new helicopters would help TNPA to improve ship turnaround times and the overall reliability of its marine service at the Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

“This in turn will have benefits for our customers, the shipping lines and the global competitiveness of our ports,” she said.

“As TNPA, we are delighted that we are now so close to being in a position to respond to long-time industry calls for a more efficient and reliable marine pilot service in our Ports of Durban and Richards Bay.

“These are presently the only ports in our complementary port system which use helicopters to transfer marine pilots onto and off visiting vessels. We are, however, looking to offer the service at our Port of Cape Town as well, to counter weather related disruptions there, where major swells impact on the availability of service during stormy conditions,” she said.

South Africa pioneered the concept of transferring marine pilots to and from vessels by helicopter and is understood to be one of only three countries in the world that offer the service.

TNPA has an existing fleet of three AW109 helicopters that are reaching the end of their life cycle. The procurement of the two new helicopters forms part of TNPA’s fleet renewal programme.

The AW109SP is a modern top-of-the-range light twin-engine helicopter with excellent operational flexibility as well as high safety levels through advanced navigation and situational awareness technology. The two new AW109 SP’s are equipped with a Harbour Pilot Shuttle Kit, which features a hoist that enables this distinctive operation, as well as several other installations unique to Transnet’s aircraft.

The contract for the new helicopters includes a 25% supplier development obligation by the global supplier to ensure that the contract creates socio-economic benefits within South Africa. These would include job creation, skills development and where possible use of local, empowered companies and local materials or parts.

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CYCLONE KENNETH COMES ASHORE NEAR PEMBA

Cyclone Kenneth making landfall over northern Mozambique, southern Tanzania, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Cyclone Kenneth making landfall over northern Mozambique, southern Tanzania

Authorities in northern Mozambique were scrambling to evacuate thousands of residents in low-lying regions of coastland in northern Mozambique ahead of last week’s arrival of Cyclone Kenneth, a category 4 cyclone said in advance to be the equal or even more powerful than Cyclone Idai which devastated large expanses around the port city of Beira in March this year.

For various reasons however the damage and especially the death toll arising from the latest cyclone may prove to be not as bad as it was for Idai. One of these is that Idai developed initially overland and a significantly large amount of rain fell before the storm re-emerged from over the sea with strength re-gathered and now a fully fledged cyclone that then roared back to the land further south.

The area around Beira is also more heavily populated and flat-lying than that further north.

Kenneth on the other hand has come directly from the sea.

As it made landfall on Thursday night (15 April 2019) and the region braced for the unwelcome visitor, winds of 220 kph (140 mph) were being recorded.

According to the Mozambique National Institute of Disaster Management it had provided shelters ahead of what it described as “compulsory evacuation” of families to the shelters.

shelters provided for eveacuatedpeople in northern Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

Forecasters at Meteo-France meanwhile issued warnings that Kenneth could trigger waves off Mozambique’s northeastern shore as much as five metres higher than usual.

“Residents along the Mozambique/Tanzania border should make preparations for storm surge along the coasts, heavy rainfall, and hurricane-force winds,” NASA warned.

Early reports from Pemba state that some parts of the town were left in darkness with strong winds bringing down trees and destroying boats. Unlike in Beira, most of the town of Pemba is built well above sea level and is situated on a bluff that separates Pemba Bay from the open sea. The large open area of the bay is susceptible to the storm however, as are lodges on the sea-facing shore below the town.

Aerial view of the town of Pemba, with the large expanse of deep water bay on the far side. Picture by Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Aerial view of the town of Pemba, with the large expanse of deep water bay on the far side. Picture by Terry Hutson

In addition to the dangerous winds and storm surge, Kenneth brought torrential rainfall that is still faling and from which significant flooding will occur. More than 20 inches of rain was initially projected for the first four days — roughly four times the average monthly rainfall for the region where a semi drought has been in existence.

Kenneth developed into a tropical storm and strengthened rapidly on Wednesday last week and continued to intensify during Thursday ahead of crossing the coast. Although cyclones begin weakening once overland they bring heavy rain and very strong winds that cause most of the damage and loss of life.

As expected Cyclone Kenneth, now declassified as a storm system has followed a common path and had ‘lingered’ for a while not far from where it came ashore. There is still a risk that the diminishing storm will track southwards and if it follows this path the storm may return over the sea where it could regrow its strength to that of a cyclone.

That appears less likely now.

In Tanzania, authorities in the southern port town of Mtwara also tookprecautionary measures ahead of the storm coming ashore. Mtwara was expecting to receive some of the brunt of Cyclone Kenneth which has no regard for boundaries of borders.

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WARMING SEAS & WETTER ATMOSPHERE FEEDING THE DELUGE DELIVERED BY CYCLONES

Cyclone Kenneth developed over this ocean in the northern regions of the Mozambique Channel before heading towards a landfall over north Mozambique. En route it passed close overhead of Comoros island group. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Cyclone Kenneth developed over this ocean in the northern regions of the Mozambique Channel before heading towards a landfall over north Mozambique. En route it passed close overhead of Comoros island group

Report by Climate Signals*

Category 4 Cyclone Kenneth made landfall last night (Thursday evening 25 April) in Cabo Delgado province, Mozambique making it is the strongest recorded cyclone to make landfall in Africa.

The superstorm comes on the heels of Cyclone Idai, which devastated parts of Mozambique in March. The northern part of the country is now at risk of extreme rainfall, flooding, and mudslides over several days.

Climate change affects hurricane activity and amplifies damages done in three major ways:

Increasing rainfall:

Unusually warm seas (up to 4°F higher than normal) and a warmer atmosphere are expected to help supercharge the deluge delivered by Kenneth, providing a year’s worth of rain (30-60 inches) in just days.
Global warming is increasing water vapor in the air, which in turn is fueling extreme rainfall, increasing the threat of flooding.
Kenneth is expected to stall for several days. This stalling is consistent with the long-term trend of increasing stalling of tropical cyclones that has been observed worldwide and attributed to climate change.
These conditions parallel the set up for Hurricane Harvey, which delivered the record-breaking rainfall that devastated Southeast Texas.

Extending storm surge:

Global warming is driving up sea level, which greatly extends the reach of storms along low-lying areas.
Coastal communities are at risk, as the most important impact of tropical cyclones in coastal regions is storm surge. Forty-percent of Mozambique’s population lives in coastal districts.

In the United States from 1963 to 2012, 88 percent of storm-related fatalities occurred in water-related incidents; storm surge caused 49 percent and freshwater floods due to heavy rainfall caused 27 percent.

Globally, storm surge kills an average of 13,000 people each year.

Increasing wind speed:

Global warming is heating up sea surface temperatures, which in turn raises the maximum potential energy a storm can reach.

Sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean of 86°(F) helped fuel the storm’s intensity. Warming seas are a signal of climate change.

Did climate change play a role in the back-to-back occurrence of catastrophic tropical cyclones in the Southwest Indian Ocean?

Research to date does not show an increase in the frequency of tropical cyclone landfalls over the south-west Indian Ocean and future projections are not clear. But with two cyclones occurring back-to-back, we may be seeing a new signal emerge. [and another two likewise back-to-back in the mid-Indian Ocean.]

Kevin Trenberth, NCAR Distinguished Senior Scientist said: “Well above normal sea surface temperatures have been over 30°C (86°F) in the subtropics of the Indian Ocean and have helped fuel tropical cyclones. Six weeks or so after the devastating Idai flooding, now Kenneth made landfall in Mozambique somewhat farther north, but with potential for a lot more damage. Global warming from human activities contributes, and feeds into the perhaps odd seasonality of tropical cyclones in the southern Indian Ocean, where the summer monsoon prejudices against such events in the peak warm season.”

source: courtesy Climate Signals CLICK HERE

What is Climate Signals?*

Climate Signals is a science tool that identifies and illustrates what climate change looks like on the ground, in your region, state, or neighborhood and specifies the long-term climate trends and physical processes at work. It is a digital science platform for cataloging and mapping the impacts of climate change. Currently in open-beta release, the platform is designed to identify the chain of connections between greenhouse gas emissions and individual climate events.
Climate Signals consists of a curated relational database of events and their links to climate change, an event mapping engine, a searchable database of science reports, and a searchable gallery of climate change monitors relaying real-time data.
For each event in the database, an infographic engine provides a custom “signal tree” that illustrates the connections to climate change. The system of attribution used to link events to climate change is explained here. In addition, key resources are aggregated and curated for each event.

This open-beta release is offered for public user testing and engagement. Comments and feedback are invited and can be submitted by CLICKING HERE

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SOMALI PIRACY REARS ITS UGLY HEAD ONCE MORE

EU NAVFOR naval forces recapturing dhow from pirates, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online EU NAVFOR naval forces recapturing dhow from pirates. Note the skiff alongside.  Picture: EU NAVFOR

On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia, reports EU NAVFOR.

The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, thanks to the application of Best Management Practices (BMP) protection measures by the masters, the crews and the private security teams embarked on both fishing vessels.

EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta confirms these attacks. It is likely that the attacks were facilitated by a mothership, which was reportedly seized by armed men on 19 April off the central Somali Coast.

EU NAVFOR subsequently dispatched its Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft…[restrict] to search the area. In addition, EU NAVFOR flagship ESPS NAVARRA left the port in Mombasa in order to proceed into the area.

On 23 April, ESPS NAVARA successfully intercepted and boarded the dhow being used as a mothership.

The operation is still ongoing, and more details will be provided upon completion.

EU NAVFOR says it remains committed to deterring, preventing and suppressing piracy and emphasises that the Maritime Industry must adhere to BMP measures in order to maximise the safety of the ship and their crews whilst transiting the high-risk area.

Early on 23 April, EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta successfully responded to a piracy incident that transpired over the course of the four previous days.

The incident began on 19 April, when five pirates captured a Yemeni dhow off the coast of Somalia. The pirates proceeded to navigate the dhow along the coast, where they visited a pirate basecamp and reinforced their crew with additional members.

Two days later on 21 April the pirates, with the dhow acting as a mothership in the Indian Ocean some 280 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, attacked the Korean fishing vessel ADRIA.

FV Adria commenced evasive manoeuvres and increased her speed. The Spanish Fishing Vessel TXORI ARGI was operating in the vicinity and proceeded to assist the FV Adria as she continued to be chased by the skiffs.

After approximately one hour, both vessels were approached by the skiffs and fired upon with what was believed to be a rocket propelled grenade. The Private Armed Security Teams (PAST) on board the FV Adria and the FV Txori Argi responded, and the skiffs retreated.

That same day, another fishing vessel, FV SHIN SHUEN FAR 889, also reported having been approached by two skiffs, which both retreated when the PAST on board revealed their weapons.

EU NAVFOR meanwhile dispatched its Maritime Patrol aircraft (MPRAs) and conducted a search in the area, resulting in identifying the mothership. On 23 April, in collaboration with its MPRAs, EU NAVFOR’s flagship ESPS NAVARRA successfully intercepted and boarded the captured dhow vessel.

EU NAVFOR apprehended five suspected pirates, and the 23 hostages aboard the hijacked FV Al AZHAM were released unharmed.

With the support of the PAST and EU NAVFOR’s various active assets in the region—including the frigate ESPS NAVARRA and MPRAs German JESTER and Spanish CISNE, Operation Atalanta was able to control the situation and prevent any further imminent attacks.

This incident is the first notable piracy event since October of last year. The Force Headquarters (FHQ) piloted the operation under the command of the Operation Headquarters (OHQ) in Rota, just three weeks after the operation hand over from Northwood, United Kingdom.

“This incident clearly demonstrates that piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia has not been eradicated,” said Operation Commander Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell.

“The need for a strong maritime security presence in the High-Risk Area remains critical for the deterrence and prevention of future incidents and attacks.”

EU NAVFOR said it urges the maritime industry to remain vigilant across the High-Risk Area and to comply with recommended Best Management Practises, as supported by the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa located in Brest. source: EU NAVFOR[/restrict]

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TECHOBANINE DEEPWATER PORT PROJECT ‘CHERISHED’ BY MOZ GOVERNMENT

Location of proposed Techobanine deepwater port south of Maputo, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Location of proposed deepwater port south of Maputo

Speaking in Beijing this week, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi declared that despite the projected construction of the Techobanine railway and port was being undertaken by the private sector, the Mozambican government nevertheless ‘cherished’ it.

President Nyusi said on Tuesday that he believed the project would be an asset for the country, as it would bring to fruition the Chibuto heavy sands exploration project.

The project is being spearheaded by the…[restrict] Joaquim Chissano foundation and the Muiake company, in coordination with the China Railway International Group. Leonardo Simão, Executive Director of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Muiake, is in Beijing for contacts with his Chinese counterpart.

Simão said that, in terms of financing for the execution of the works, he was guaranteed an initial amount estimated at US$2.9 billion dollars.

Tranquil scene at techobanine, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Tranquil scene at techobanine

This is a structuring project, which can also make feasible the exploitation of heavy sands in the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane.

The infrastructure project will make feasible the exploitation of heavy sands in Gaza and Inhambane provinces, contributing to development both locally and of the country in general, Simão said.

The projected Techobanine port will be built south of Maputo and connected to the capital by rail. The project under consideration at this stage envisages hauling coal from Botswana to the port for export. Coal trains would travel from Botswana via Zimbabwe into Mozambique and then to the new port which would be able to cater for Capesize vessels. source: Rádio Moçambique and AP&S[/restrict]

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BONNY RIVER ANCHORAGE PIRATES STRIKE AGAIN, SIX SEAMEN ABDUCTED

The tanker APECUS photographed by Mike Griffiths, courtesy of Shipspotting, while operating previously with the name LACHS. The tanker was built in 1973., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online The tanker APECUS photographed by Mike Griffiths, courtesy of Shipspotting, while operating previously with the name LACHS. The tanker was built in 1973

Reports from the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre confirmed last night (Wednesday) that six crew members have been abducted by force from an anchored tanker off the coast of Bonny Island in Nigeria.

The attack took place on Friday 19 April at around 14h30 local time.

The 3,075-dwt tanker APECUS was at anchor at the time. In similar circumstances to another attack on a tanker of a week before, the armed pirates made…[restrict] their way on board and after ransacking parts of the vessel, they departed taking six of the crew with them as hostages, probably for ransoming purposes.

The remaining crew were reported as safe and still on board the vessel. The Nigerian Navy was notified and responded and an investigation is underway, but the pirates have escaped with their hostages.

On Monday, 15 April in position 04:28.1N 007:10.1E at 20h20 UTC, pirates attacked another tanker in the Bonny River outer anchorage, firing their weapons at the ship’s accommodation. The ship’s crew retired to the citadel while a fire-fight developed between on-board Nigerian Navy guards, who forced the pirates to return to their speedboat and make their escape. One guard was injured in the attack and was later taken ashore for treatment.

So far this year in the first three months the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported 14 incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The latest two fall into the second quarter of the year and are not included in the 14, so don’t believe other reports saying that piracy in the region is lessening. The actual numbers may be down but the attacks are still happening and ships and crews are at risk.[/restrict] 

For our report on the other Bonny River attack on 15 April CLICK HERE

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DURBAN PORT IN MASSIVE CLEAN-UP MODE, CALLS FOR SUPPORT

The Port of Durban has been badly affected by the large volume of waste and vegetation flowing into port waters after the recent heavy rains and flooding, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online The Port of Durban has been badly affected by the large volume of waste and vegetation flowing into port waters after the recent heavy rains and flooding

A major clean-up is underway at the port of Durban following this week’s heavy rains that resulted in flooding across the city and region. Tons of rubbish has entered the bay from rivers and drains that empty their contents into the harbour.

In addition over 60 people are now known to have died as a result of the storm.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), which has the landlord role at the port has initiated the clean-up action involving several outside contractors in additiion to some of its own staff.

The task is to remove the many tons of rubbish, consisting of waste material and vegetation from the port.

Clean-up teams are working hard to clear the debris. That's SAS Durban on the right, at the Maritime Museum, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Clean-up teams are working hard to clear the debris. That’s SAS Durban on the right, at the Maritime Museum

Ironically, the adverse weather caused the usual deluge of plastic and other debris to flow into the port, leaving behind an unsightly scene just days after World Earth Day was observed globally on 22 April.

Acting Durban Port Manager, Nokuzola Nkowane, said all Transnet Operating Divisions were carrying out assessments to establish the full extent of damage caused by the storm.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the recent heavy rains and flooding. We would also like to appeal to the public to please help curb plastic pollution as this causes huge problems when the debris flows into the harbour,” she said.

She said the port’s pollution control teams were on site tackling the debris within port waters, aided by clean-up teams from SpillTech, Drizit and ZMK Enterprises. Progress is slow due to the sheer volume of material that still continues to wash in.

clean-up operations underway on Durban Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online Clean-up operations underway on Durban Bay

The debris included large logs that posed a threat to the safe navigation of the harbour craft which are used to guide vessels safely in and around the port. The port has been fully operational however, the ingress of waste impacted on vessel movements and as of midday on Wednesday three vessels were unable to berth or sail in the Maydon Wharf precinct, Nkowane confirmed.

“The combined catchment area of the rivers, canals and storm-water drainage systems that drain into the port is over 200km2 in size. The unfortunate reality is the port waters are on the receiving end of the large volume of litter, effluent and sewage that is discharged into the storm-water reticulation system within the catchment,” said Nkowane.

“We must all take responsibility for the well-being of the ocean and coastal environment, and as TNPA we want to help create awareness and promote sustainable practices for the benefit of present and future generations,” she said.

TNPA said it has been in regular engagements with the eThekwini (Durban) Municipality regarding the interventions required to address the ingress of waste and effluent into the port from the municipal stormwater network which drains a significant portion of the Durban metropolitan area.

cleaning up after the big easter storm over Durban Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news online

The port’s pollution control department shared the following tips for the public to help in tackling the massive plastic problem:

* Avoid single-use plastic, which is any plastic item used only once, such as plastic straws and plastic packaging. Plastic is a material that lasts for hundreds of years, yet is often used for only a short time before it is discarded.
* Get into the habit of recycling and avoid throwing away recyclable items as part of your normal weekly refuse disposal. Items that can and should be recycled include glass, cardboard and paper, tin and aluminium cans (for example from canned food and cool drink), certain plastics such as bottles for drinks and cleaning products. Items should be rinsed before being put into a recycling bin.
* Get involved in clean-ups, such as those arranged by #CleanBlueLagoon, KZN Beach Clean Up and Durban Bay Cleanup.
* Observe environmental days such as World Earth Day on 22 April (held under the theme ‘End Plastic Pollution’ in 2018), National Marine Week in the second week of October (under the theme ‘Plastic is Drastic’ in 2018) and World Environment Day on 5 June (under the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution” in 2018).
* Support organisations such as Durban Green Corridors, Durban Partnership against Plastic Pollution (D-PAPP) and Greenpeace Africa which help to fight plastic and other pollution.

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Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

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